MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. -- Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tony Blair will deliver the 2009 Issam M. Fares Lecture at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Tufts University's Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center in Medford. Tickets will be distributed to members of the Tufts community via an online lottery system, beginning the week of Jan. 26.
The Issam M. Fares Lecture series began at Tufts in 1993. Past speakers have included former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton, former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Margaret Thatcher, former President of France Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former U.S. Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James A. Baker, III and Colin Powell, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.
"We are honored that Tony Blair will deliver the next Fares Lecture," said Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow. "This distinguished series brings to Tufts the most important figures in contemporary public affairs. Mr. Blair can offer unique insights into the critical challenges of our era from his experience as prime minister and from his current role as the representative of the 'Quartet' -- the United Nations, the United States, Russia, and the European Union -- to the Middle East."
The Issam M. Fares Lecture is supported by an endowment from the Issam M. Fares family through the WEDGE Foundation that enables Tufts University to implement a program for promoting Middle Eastern studies in the humanities, social sciences and arts, including history, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, demographic studies and languages.
Tufts' Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, sponsor of the Issam M. Fares Lecture, opened in 2002. Its mission is to create an academic environment that promotes a greater understanding of the rich heritage of the Eastern Mediterranean, and of the significant challenges that this region faces at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.